2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2021 1:36 PM by Donald Hall

    Seeking my husband's will while in the military

    Barbara Payne Newbie

      My husband did a will in the military and he’s lost it can we get a copy of it

        • Re: Seeking my husband's will while in the military
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Ms. Payne,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          It is unlikely that the military has or had custody of a copy of your husband’s will, but you may wish to request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), which is where it might be located if they did have a copy. OMPFs for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were separated from the service before October 2002 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where Army and Air Force personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Navy and Marine Corps OMPFs were not affected by the fire. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels.  Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and were separated after September 30, 2002 (Army); after September 30, 2004 (Air Force); after 1994 (Navy); and after 1998 (Marine Corps) are available in electronic format via https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/.


          If your husband worked with an estate planner or attorney when creating his will, then we suggest that you contact that individual or organization directly for further assistance. In addition, each branch of service offers legal assistance with issues like drafting last wills and testaments, so you may wish to contact the legal aid office of your husband’s branch of service to see if they can offer any additional guidance.


          Finally, there are also a number of resources online, like the Air Force document What Military Families Should Know About Wills, that may be useful for you.


          We hope this is helpful.


          • Re: Seeking my husband's will while in the military
            Donald Hall Adventurer

            Having served for 30 years, and having had a will or two prepared, it is unlikely that a copy was retained.  Typically, that is a service which was performed by the legal office for the service member as a benefit (it additionally makes things easier for the service if the service member is killed, because it can settle disputes over property, etc., which the service might get dragged into--but primarily it's a service to the service member).


            IF (capitalization deliberate) a copy was retained by the unit--in a deployment readiness folder, for example--it would have been a temporary document and would have been returned to the service member when they out-processed the unit or destroyed once they left, along with the rest of the documents in the folder.  It would not have been retained one the service member departed the organization.


            Probably not what you wanted to hear, sorry.